Braddock’s Battlefield History Center Connects Early History

Published by Jeremy. Last Updated on May 4, 2024.

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You are likely familiar with how the British and French fought for control of the confluence in what is now downtown Pittsburgh during the French and Indian War in the 1750s.

Many local battles took place during the war, including the Battle of Jumonville Glen at Fort Necessity (where George Washington is thought to have inadvertently been responsible for starting hostilities), the Braddock Campaign's devastating loss at the Battle of Monongahela, the subsequent victory of the Forbes Campaign taking the confluence for the British (giving us the Pittsburgh we know today from Fort Ligonier to Fort Pitt), and more.

The Battle of Monongahela is memorialized in the appropriately named Braddock and North Braddock, PA, and today you can visit the battlefield site at Braddock's Battlefield History Center at the site of where the battle took place.

Learn the History of the Battle of Monongahela

Braddock's Battlefield History Center

North Braddock's Battlefield History Center is a modest museum of just a few rooms in size that does a wonderful job at showcasing the events that led up to the battle while taking a holistic look at the positions of the British, French, and the Native Americans that took part in the war.

Upon entry, you are led into the museum with art, text displays, and some historical artifacts to enjoy. On one side of the museum, you learn about the native tribes in the region, where local names (like Allegheny and Ohio for our rivers) came from, where and how they interacted with French and British troops, and why many ultimately aligned with the French before the Battle of Monongahela.

Braddock's Battlefield History Center

On the opposing side of the museum, you learn the same but from the British perspective- why they were wanting control of the region, relationships and tensions with native tribes, and, of course, the buildup to the battle where General Braddock was fatally wounded, George Washington barely made it out alive, and the crushing defeat that delayed the takeover of the confluence to the later, successful Forbes Campaign.

Braddock's Battlefield History Center

While the exhibits here are fairly small, with paintings, artist renderings, and text displays being prominent, there also historical maps and other artifacts to enjoy. Guests here can likely be in and out in about a half hour as a result, but the museum also has a second room at the end of the building showing a historical re-enactment video for those who want to stick around and witness the recreation of the events of the Battle of Monongahela as well. 

Don't Forget to Check Out Washington's Statue Nearby

George Washington Statue in Braddock

When in North Braddock, be sure to drive a couple blocks around the corner to Jones Avenue. Across from Woodland Hills School District is a statue of George Washington and historical placards showing more information about the site.

It is thought that Braddock was fatally shot near this point, and, as the museum has no outdoor component with artifacts or recreations to see, helps tie a visit together a bit more beyond simply visiting the museum itself!

Still, for its low admission price, Braddock's Battlefield History Center is a must visit for anyone looking to learn a bit more about the region's early history as it connects the battlefield history from the events at Jumonville Glen and Fort Necessity to the Forbes Campaign that ultimately took control of the confluence resulting in the Pittsburgh we know and love today!

Braddock's Battlefield History Center is located at 609 6th Street in North Braddock, PA.

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